Rachel Maddow: "The Pentagon Hasn’t Been Audited In 30 Years"

Making the rounds in support of her new book Drift, Rachel Maddow has twice mentioned our apparent lack of accountability for military spending. She’s got a point.

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But thats about to change, according to Bloomberg, the DoD is about to hire close to 1,600 auditors in 2013.

It’s going to cost them about $200M, a 14% raise in their personell spending from 2012, if approved. But out of a $613.9B budget, its a small price to pay for long neglected accountability. These auditors would focus on making sure Pentagon dealings with contractors are accurate and that no one is over or under paid and that no money goes missing inexplicably.

The rationale used by the DoD in years past in avoiding commercial audit standards, is that they are “Too big to fail” (Aha! Not so new a word as you thought!)- and with a budget the cost of 38 GE bailouts, its hard to disagree. Their fear is that they would most certainly fail these audits.

Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale said last year that “Over the last five years, about two-tenths of our budget has been associated with ADAs.” ADAs refers to Anti-Deficiency Act violations, which happens when a federally funded entity spends more than its been allocated in the national budget. That’s 20 percent. One fifth. 20 cents on top of each dollar already allocated. Need I go on?

All of this is old hat though, as there have been at least two “audit ready” deadlines in the past 20 years (in 1996 and 2007) for the DoD, which have been pushed indefinitely.

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